Author(s): Jon Latimer
Through festering jungle and across burning plains to high mountains and lazy rivers, the Burma campaign of the Second World War involved the longest retreat in British history, and the longest advance; long-range penetration miles behind enemy lines, vicious hand-to-hand fighting, and the horrors of forced labour. Yet this strange war remains utterly fascinating with singular characters like Slim, Mountbatten, Stilwell and Wingate, while dominated by ordinary soldiers that it 'gathered to itself like a whirlpool, men from the ends of the earth': from Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, West, East and South Africa, but overwhelmingly, from India. Dogras, Sikhs, Punjabis, Kumaonis, Madrassis and Nepalese, representing every race and caste on the subcontinent, were all far from home, all fighting for survival against a ruthless enemy prepared to die for his emperor, while the Burmese fought for their independence.
Jon Latimer draws these disparate strands together in a gripping narrative, to describe the operations and the politics that shaped them, while illustrating the experiences of thousands of ordinary people whose lives were caught up and transformed by this south-east Asian maelstrom, many of whom feel that like Fourteenth Army they were forgotten. This book ensures that none of them are.
'Jon Latimer is acquiring a formidable reputation as a military history heavyweight with a light enough touch not to put off the merely curious.' -- Soldier 20041101 'Thanks to works like Latimer's the Forgotten Army will be rightly remembered.' -- West Devon Diary 20041101 'Latimer ... expertly describes the story of the Allies' savage struggle to rid the British colony of Burma of its Japanese invaders' -- Anthony Looch (syndicated) 20041029 'This is a book to buy, read and enjoy and go back to time and again. I cannot recommend it highly enough.' -- Dekho! 20050401 'Jon Latimer breathes life into the maelstrom that ripped through the jungles of Burma during the second world war.' -- Big Issue 20050725 'A long overdue tribute to the soliders of a diverse Commonwealth force' -- Sunday Morning Post (Hong Kong) 20050724 'Well balanced between political overview and intimate details, this account deserves to be noticed.' -- Good Book Guide 'Latimer, a former British Army officer turned military writer, expertly describes the story of the Allies savage struggle' -- Birmingham Post 'Latimer is acquiring a formidable reputation as a military history heavyweight with a light enough touch not to put off the merely curious' -- Soldier 'Former soldier Jon Latimer offers a gripping narrative of the Fourteenth Army's Burma campaign' -- History Today 'One of the best accounts of the war in recent years.' -- BBC History 20050610
Jon Latimer served for sixteen years as an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (TA) including as Platoon Commander, Battalion Intelligence Officer and with the staff of the 4th Armoured Brigade. He has published widely in military journals and is also the author of Operation Compass 1940, Tobruk 1941, Deception in War and the highly acclaimed Alamein.